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Re: packages held back?

On Sat, May 06, 2006 at 03:09:30PM -0700, Mike S wrote:

<replied privately to private stuff>

> Now, onto the problem.  I am not totally clear about the differences 
> between apt-get and aptitude, but after updating my package list last 
> night I get this
> >The following packages have been kept back:
> >  galeon gdk-imlib1 gnomemeeting libc6 libc6-dev libdirectfb-0.9-22 
> >libdirectfb-dev libpt-plugins-alsa
> >  libpt-plugins-avc libpt-plugins-dc libpt-plugins-oss 
> >libpt-plugins-v4l libpt-plugins-v4l2 libsdl1.2-dev
> >  libsdl1.2debian libsdl1.2debian-all libxklavier10 yelp
> when trying to do an apt-get upgrade.  When I use aptitude to attempt 
> the same (aptitude upgrade) I get :
> >The following packages are unused and will be REMOVED:
> >  aalib1 bc cpp-3.3 docbook-dsssl esound gcalctool gconf-editor 
> >gdk-imlib1 gnome-doc-tools gnome-games
> >  gnome-games-data gnome-gv gnome-themes gnome-utils gnomemeeting gpdf 
> >gs gs-common gs-gpl
> >  gstreamer0.8-audiofile gstreamer0.8-mad gstreamer0.8-plugin-apps 
> >gstreamer0.8-tools gtk2-engines-crux
> >  gtk2-engines-lighthouseblue gtk2-engines-mist gtk2-engines-pixbuf 
> >gtk2-engines-redmond95
> >  gtk2-engines-smooth gtk2-engines-thinice gucharmap guile-1.6-libs 
> >libcupsys2-gnutls10 libdb4.1 libdc1394-11
> >  libdns16 libdps1 libebook8 libecal6 libedataserver3 libexif10 
> >libflac6 libgimpprint1 libgsf-1 libgtkhtml2-0
> >  libguile-ltdl-1 libisc7 liblwres1 libnetpbm10 liboggflac1 liboil0.2 
> >libosp4 libpaper1 libpng10-0
> >  libpt-1.8.3 libpt-plugins-alsa libpt-plugins-avc libpt-plugins-dc 
> >libpt-plugins-oss libpt-plugins-v4l
> >  libpt-plugins-v4l2 libsysfs1 libwnck4 libxaw7 libxft1 netpbm 
> >openjade pmount portmap slang1 xfree86-common
> I am totally stumped by these two things, apt-get upgrade removes 
> nothing so I have used that for the past week, by why does aptitude want 
> to remove the above packages, and what does "kept back" mean from 
> apt-get?  checking the top of /var/log/Xorg.0.log I read that I am using
> >X Window System Version 6.9.0 (Debian 6.9.0.dfsg.1-6 20060404132215 
> >buildd@voltaire)
> which is xorg-6.9.0 right?  Why is aptitude trying to remove 
> xfree86-common which is a transitional package

Well, it is difficult to say in particular, but i will try to give some info.

xfree86-common is probably an older package dating from the pre-xorg era of x
in debian. It is thus useless, and is now being removed, probably because a
conflict or replace with some newer package demands is. If you follow
unstable, you will probably have the newer modular xorg 7.0 being installed.,
which may have caused this.

apt-get upgade will upgrade the packages, but not install new ones or remove
them. new ones get installed by a dependency, and package will get removed by
a conflict, often accompanied by a replace/provides too.

The kept back packages are those that cannot be installed without new packages
being installed or others removed.

apt-get dist-upgrade will remove/install those, and this may mean huge remoal
of packages in case of big transitions. Ideally dist-upgrade is only meant for
stable release upgrades (sarge->etch for example). Sometimes dist-upgrade
also means some package are kept back, usually because they are not
installable because some dependency has not yet been built on powerpc. This
often happens when a package has binary: all and binary: any packages. The
first one will build on the arch the maintainer uploads, while the later one
will need to be built by the powerpc buildd, which may take a day or two in
the normal case.

aptitude introduces another situation. It consider that you only really want
those packages you personnaly asked to install, and will try to remove unused
libraries if it finds them. Sadly, i don't believe aptitude will notice when a
package has been installed explicitly by apt-get, TTBOK.

> I am running testing, if that help, and would appreciate any help from 
> anyone

Well, hope the above helped some to understand the problem. What i usually do
is an apt-get upgrade, followed by a manual apt-get install of those packages
that are kept back, usually one by one. IF this still didn't help, then just
wait a few days.


Sven Luther

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